Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Location: 502 Sherman St in Menlo, population 352, about forty miles west of Des Moines in Guthrie County.
Directions: Menlo is along a stretch of State Highway 925 known as White Pole Road, and is about 2 miles off of I-80. Menlo Cafe is along the main street through town.
Online at: no website for the Menlo Cafe, but check out the White Pole Road.
Price: $6.00 with ridged potato chips.
Service: There were a couple kids waiting tables when I was in. Each table had a pitcher of water frequently refilled.
Final Thoughts: The Menlo Cafe gives people the small town Iowa cafe experience in a place not far from Des Moines. If you want a more impressive tenderloin, you have to drive further west to get to the award winning places out that way.
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Location: 113 W Van Buren St in Centerville, Appanoose County, Southern Iowa.
Directions: Its on the northwest side of the ginormous town square in Centerville.
Online at: website is HERE.
The Whole Hog: Whenever I see a tenderloin loaded up on topping I have to grab it. The bacon, ham and cheese didn't make the sandwich great but were juicy and savory on top of the tenderloin. The breading was a simple seasoning mix with a great crunchy texture. The best part here was the soft tenderized and well trimmed pork loin. Overall 8.5 out of ten.
Price: $4.50 for the Whole Hog, the regular jumbo tenderloin is $3.50, fries are a dollar more. They are treating the entire town like family members with these prices.
Service: Casual deli counter service to get your order in, then pay at the front counter. The owners do local promotions on a local radio station and youtube videos with the daily specials. I think they also do boat tours of Lake Rathbun.
Final Thoughts: The immediate comparison for me is to B & B Grocery in Des Moines.For some reason on my last trip through here I saw more than one storefront graphic advertising "jumbo tenderloin" sandwiches. With other restaurants in town using the exact same verbiage, "homemade jumbo tenderloin", I wonder if J & K supplies these for them. Either way, the prices are absolutely rock bottom for good hand-breaded tenderloins in any small town in Iowa.